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Bengaluru’s Maia Café to follow the farm-to-fork philosophy for all ingredients


FRESH FOCUS Restaurants are making a conscious effort to make sure that what they serve comes from neighbourhood farms

BENGALURU: Finding a Kachi Kairi Nu Kheer (raw mango kheer) in Bengaluru is no easy task. This dish, typical of Jain households in Murshidabad, comes from a recipe handed down through generations of women cooped up in the kitchen.And when this delicacy arrives in Bengaluru, in the soon-to-be opened Maia Café, all its ingredients will follow the farm-to-fork philosophy.

As the focus on fresh, locallysourced food gains ground the world over, city-based eateries are making a conscious effort to make sure that what they serve comes from nearby farmers. They do not want their in gredients going through godowns, which they do, when they take the wholesale route. Sourcing them directly from the grower is their mantra.

“All our vegetables, pulses are sourced directly from farmers in Kar nataka and neighboring Andhra Pradesh.This also ensures that farmers get 35% more income as they cut out the middle men from the deal,” says Sejal Shah, co-owner of Maia.

Forage, a European healthy food restaurant that believes in keeping their food free of too many spices and ingredients, follows a similar pattern. “Our restaurant focuses on serving light and clean food. And to do that, we try and source our ingredients as locally at possible. In fact our bacon and soon-to-be launched sour-dough bread are sourced from home-cooks in the city,” says owner, Mayura Kutappa.

Go Native, in Jayanagar that servers non-GMO, pesticide-free food, opened its doors in February this year. In the six months of its existence, its clientele has only increased as awareness on responsibly-sourced food goes up by the day .All these eateries, which are working towards keeping their carbon footprint low, are seeking out their raw materials from farms that are certified to be growing responsibly .”A lot of people jumping on to the organic bandwagon often don’t know the back end of how these are grown. We make it a point to buy from farms that are certified,” says Yamini Karunagaran, the general manager, of Go Native.

However, the farm-to-fork method comes with challenges: availability of required quantity , for instance, is a problem when the consumers depend on small farms, says consultant Ishmeet Chandiok. That is, however, something that restaurants who swear by fresh-produce are willing to live with.

As Karunagaran points out, “We only serve seasonal ingredients and so our menu keeps changing with what’s available. We remove a certain dish on the menu if the ingredient is not available. Clients appreciate that, rather than being served something that is not responsibly sourced.”

Source: Economic Times

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